Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MYSTICS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 29 November – “You are in me and I in you.”

Thought for the Day – 29 November – The Memorial of Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos SJ (1711-1735) – First apostle of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Spain.

“On that day you will realise that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.”

John 14:20john 14 20 on that day you will realise that I am in my father and you are in me and I in you -29 nov 2019.jpg

Today’s young Saint and Mystic, Blessed Bernardo’s devotion led him to the most exquisite union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus … the spiritual marriage.   Yes.   It is no less strange however, that the Word, left His Father, to become one with man, to become Bread from Heaven.

I read someplace that Bl Bernardo’s intercession is especially helpful to those who struggle with the vice of impurity.   I think Bernardo’s devotion to the Sacred Heart – the complete surrender of all his affections – is an antidote to all impurity.   The grace of espousal seems to me, to be similar to the consummate love of Jesus in the Eucharist for us, whereby He gives us His body, blood, soul and divinity at every Communion.   Isn’t it like that?   Isn’t that total union what we are called to?   At every Communion – even when I feel nothing, see nothing, hear nothing – it seems especially then, that faith supplies.

I never had experiences such as those Bl Bernardo participated in – I’m just grateful to be able to be recollected after each Communion and sometimes, to receive immense consolation too.    Knowing He is there and I am with Him.   I like the way Bl Bernardo put it:   “I see that everything in my heart is moving towards God, drawn like iron to a magnet.   It desires only God, searches only for God and longs only for God….” For Bernardo, that was his constant state – and he remained faithful to the graces he received.   For me, perhaps this desire is only imperfectly experienced in the thanksgiving after Communion.   Which is why I never want to waste those moments of recollection.

“Always holding my right hand, the Lord had me occupy the empty throne, then He fitted on my finger a gold ring…. “May this ring be an earnest of our love.   You are Mine and I am yours.   You may call yourself and sign Bernardo de Jesus, thus, as I said to my spouse, Santa Teresa, you are Bernardo de Jesus and I am Jesus de Bernardo.   My honour is yours, your honor is Mine.   Consider My glory that of your Spouse, I will consider yours, that of My spouse.   All Mine is yours and all yours is Mine.   What I am by nature you share by grace.   You and I are one!” – The Visions of Bernard Francis De Hoyos, S.J. by Henri Bechard, S.J.

In the ascetic-mystical life of the saints, God Himself purifies the soul of disordered passions in and through purifying trials and temptations.   Thus proving true Christ’s words, ‘what is impossible for man is possible for God.’   Blessed Bernardo was no exception.

As Catholics, we are not at all surprised by the ‘mystical marriage of today’s young Saint with Jesus’.   However, it seems the rest are prone to think this an unusual and strange occurrence and regard it as an aberration, so please if you search Blessed Bernardo you might be horrified at some nasty statements – don’t be – you know the better part!

For “I am in You and You are in Me”i-am-in-you-and-you-are-in-me-29-july-2018 and 28 july 2019.jpg

Blessed Bernardo, Pray for Us!bl bernardo de hoyos pray for us no 2 -29 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 November – Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos SJ (1711-1735)

Saint of the Day – 29 November – Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos SJ (1711-1735) Professed Priest of the Society of Jesus, Mystic, Apostle of the Sacred Heart – born on 21 August 1711 at Torrelobatón, Valladolid, Kingdom of Spain (1711-08-21) and died on 29 November 1735, Valladolid, Spain of natural causes (typhoid), aged 24.   The miracle for his Beatification involved a young lady with typhoid.Bernardo_de_Hoyos-Escultura

Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos de Seña was born on 21 August 1711 to Don Manuel de Hoyos and Doña Francisca de Seña.  His father worked at the town hall at Torrelobatón near Valladolid.   He was baptised on 6 September in his local parish church in the names of “Bernardo Francisco Javier.”    He was named in honour of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and Saint Francis Xavier.    He received his Confirmation in 1720.

On 11 July 1726, a not quite fifteen year old Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos y Seña crossed the threshold of the Jesuit novitiate of the Province of Castile.   Straightaway he chose the Flemish Saint John Berchmans SJ as his model and intercessor.  bl bernardo-francisco-de-hoyos-de-sea-4758c195-41c3-499d-a564-b2eeb93aa49-resize-750 At his profession on 12 July 1728, he heard Our Lord say to him:   “From today on I will unite Myself more intimately to you because of my love for you.”   Our Lord, His Virgin Mother, Saint Ignatius, Saint Teresa of Avila and other celestial visitors manifested themselves to the young Jesuit, conversed with him, counselled him and encouraged him.  In 1726 both Aloysius Gonzaga SJ and Stanislaus Kostka SJ were Canonised by Pope Benedict XIII.   The two became models of holiness for the Jesuit priest, as well as John Berchmans who was already on the course for Canonisation.

On 10 August 1729, the Saviour, covered with His Precious Blood, appeared to Bernardo, and showing him the wound in His Side, said, “Rejected by humanity, I come to find my consolation with chosen souls.”   Bernardo’s experience closely resembles that of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque fifty-three years earlier in the Visitation Monastery of Paray-le-Monial in France.bl bernardo-francisco-de-hoyos-de-sea-47bf5c69-8856-4b74-8826-d833ad2129e-resize-750.jpeg

Bernardo was ordained a priest on 2 January 1735, for which he had to obtain special permission due to his young age.   Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Francis de Sales, mystically present at the ordination, served as his “godfathers” in the priesthood.   In that same year he wrote:

Hitherto I had great confidence in my prayers and petitions, depending on the intercession of the Heart of Jesus, at present I have no doubt about obtaining whatsoever I ask, if it is for the greater glory of God.   I am convinced that at the altar, the Eternal Father can refuse me nothing . . . I find myself with views like that of Venerable Father La Colombière concerning the greatness of this sacrifice. Here I am as if I were triumphant, for it seems to me not only that I am making reparation for myself and for the whole world but that the Eternal Father is my debtor.

Now and again, during Mass . . . a word of the Eternal Father has assured me of the satisfaction He takes in His Son and in His Heart and how this satisfaction may embolden me, even at the sight of my sins and ingratitude, to presume as much as I fancy, for all is contained in the merits of Jesus, whose minister I am and whose place I take.”bl bernardo-francisco-de-hoyos-de-sea-2849f500-f2de-4b72-a83a-1328aa7e7f7-resize-750.jpg

Father Bernardo de Hoyos died on 29 November 1735 at the age of twenty-four.   He left behind the memory of his brief but fruitful ministry as a priest, the reputation of a charism for delivering souls from the vice of impurity – his book, The Hidden Treasure, published under the name of Father John de Loyola and a wealth of detailed accounts of his mystical experiences of the Heart of Jesus.

On 17 January 2009, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, met with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B.   The Pope authorised the promulgation of a number of decrees, among them the recognition of a miracle attributed to the Servant of God Bernardo Francisco Hoyos.
On 19 April 2010, Father Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos was beatified in Valladolid, Spain. The ceremony was presided over by Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.   In addition to nearly a 1,000 priests and more the 20,000 faithful, approximately fifty bishops and cardinals attended the ceremony.   The new Blessed’s liturgical memorial was confirmed for today, the anniversary of his death.bl bernardo-francisco-de-hoyos-de-sea-eaefd6cb-55db-48f7-9c4e-e6079ed90de-resize-750.jpeg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, Hail MARY!, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 19 November – St Matilda and the Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

Quote of the Day – 19 November – Tuesday of the Thirty Third Week of Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 19:1–10 and the Memorial of St Matilda/Mechtilde of Hackeborn (c 1241-1298)devotion of the three hail marys - st matilda of hackeborn 19 nov 2019

Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

St Matilda of Hackeborn
was distressed over her eternal salvation
and prayed that the Most Holy Virgin
would assist her at the hour of death.

The Blessed Virgin appeared to her
and reassured her, saying:

“Yes, I will!
But I wish, for your part,
that you recite three Hail Marys
everyday, remembering,
in the first,
the power received
from the Eternal Father,
in the second,
the wisdom received from the Son,
with the third one,
the love that has filled the Holy Spirit”.

The Blessed Virgin taught her to pray
and to understand especially,
how the Three Hail Mary’s,
honour, the three persons
of the Blessed Trinity.

the hail mary - 19 nov 2019.jpg

 

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MYSTICS, PAPAL DECREE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 6 November – Bl Christina of Stommeln

Quote of the Day – 6 November – The Memorial of Blessed Christina of Stommeln (1242–1312)

“I am a person who believes in Christ.
I want to live so that all things in
me are strengthened by Christ.”

Blessed Christina of Stommeln (1242–1312)i am a person who believes in christ - bl christina of stommeln 6 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in DEVOTIO, MYSTICS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 16 October – The Twelve Promises of Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Thought for the Day – 16 October – The Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)

The Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary
for those Devoted to His Sacred Heart

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life
and especially at the hour of their death.
5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart
shall be exposed and honoured.
10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names
written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those
who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months
the grace of final repentance, they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments;
My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

From Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque’s Vision of Jesus

the-12-promises-of-the-sacred-heart-16-oct-2017.jpg

Posted in MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 13 October – Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa (1904-1955)

Saint of the Day – 13 October – Blessed Alexandrina/of Balazar Maria da Costa (1904-1955) Laywoman, Victim Soul, Mystic, Salesian Co-operator – best known as Blessed Alexandrina of Balazar was a Portuguese mystic and victim soul, member of the Association of Salesian Cooperators, who was born and died in Balazar (a rural parish of Póvoa de Varzim).   Alexandrina left many written works, which have been studied mainly in Italy by Father Umberto Pasquale.   On 25 April 2004 she was declared Blessed by St Pope John Paul II who stated that “her secret to holiness was love for Christ”.alexandrina-maria-da-costa-19273133-f238-406c-9714-ec619dee618-resize-750

Alexandrina Maria da Costa was born on 30 March 1904 in Balasar, Portugal.   She received a solid Christian education from her mother and her sister, Deolinda and her lively, well-mannered nature made her likeable to everyone.

Her unusual physical strength and stamina also enabled her to do long hours of heavy farm work in the fields, thus helping the family income.

When she was 12, Alexandrina became sick with an infection and nearly died, the consequences of this infection would remain with her as she grew up and would become the “first sign” of what God was asking of her – to suffer as a “victim soul”.

The consequences of sin:
When Alexandrina was 14, something happened that left a permanent imprint on her, both physically and spiritually – it gave her a face-to-face look at the horror and consequences of sin.

On Holy Saturday of 1918, while Alexandrina, Deolinda and a young apprentice were busily sewing, three men violently entered their home and attempted to sexually violate them.   To preserve her purity, Alexandrina jumped from a window, falling four metres to the ground.

Her injuries were many and the doctors diagnosed her condition as “irreversible” – it was predicted the paralysis she suffered would only get worse.

Until age 19, Alexandrina was still able to “drag herself” to church where, hunched over, she would remain in prayer, to the great amazement of the parishioners.   With her paralysis and pain worsening, however, she was forced to remain immobile and from 14 April 1925 until her death – approximately 30 years – she would remain bedridden, completely paralysed.Alexandrina_Maria_da_Costa_4

Alexandrina continued to ask the Blessed Mother for the grace of a miraculous healing, promising to become a missionary if she were healed.

Little by little, however, God helped her to see that suffering was her vocation and that she had a special call to be the Lord’s “victim”.   The more Alexandrina “understood” that this was her mission, the more willingly she embraced it.

She said: “Our Lady has given me an even greater grace, first, abandonment, then, complete conformity to God’s will, finally, the thirst for suffering”.

Mission to suffer with Christ:
The desire to suffer continued to grow in her the more her vocation became clear, she understood that she was called to open the eyes of others to the effects of sin, inviting them to conversion and to offer a living witness of Christ’s passion, contributing to the redemption of humanity.

And so it was that from 3 October 1938 until 24 March 1942, Alexandrina lived the three-hour “passion” of Jesus every Friday, having received the mystical grace to live in body and soul Christ’s suffering in his final hours.   During these three hours, her paralysis was “overcome” and she would relive the Stations of the Cross, her movements and gestures accompanied by excruciating physical and spiritual pain.   She was also diabolically assaulted and tormented with temptations against the faith and with injuries inflicted on her body.

Human misunderstanding and incredulity were also a great cross for her, especially when those she most expected would “assist” her – members and leaders of the Church – were adding to her crucifixion.

An investigation conducted by the Curia of Braga resulted in a circular letter written by the Archbishop which contained a series of “prohibitions” regarding Alexandrina’s case. It was the result of a negative verdict made by a commission of priests.

In addition and by way of spiritual comfort, after her spiritual director, a Jesuit priest who had helped her from 1934 to 1941, stopped assisting her, a Salesian priest, Fr Umberto Pasquale, came to her aid in 1944.

Nourished only by the Eucharist:
On 27 March 1942, a new phase began for Alexandrina which would continue for 13 years and seven months until her death.   She received no nourishment of any kind except the Holy Eucharist, at one point weighing as few as 33 kilos (approximately 73 pounds).bl alexandrina eucharist.jpg

Medical doctors remained baffled by this phenomenon and began to conduct various tests on Alexandrina, acting in a very cold and hostile way towards her.   This increased her suffering and humiliation but she remembered the words that Jesus himself spoke to her one day: “You will very rarely receive consolation…  I want that while your heart is filled with suffering, on your lips there is a smile”.

As a result, those who visited or came into contact with Alexandrina always found a woman who, although in apparent physical discomfort, was always outwardly joyful and smiling, transmitting to all a profound peace.   Few understood what she was deeply suffering and how real was her interior desolation.

Fr Pasquale, who stayed close to Alexandrina throughout these years, ordered Alexandrina’s sister to keep a diary of her words and her mystical experiences.alex and fr pascuale art_004.jpg

In 1944, Alexandrina became a member of the “Union of Salesian Cooperators” and offered her suffering for the salvation of souls and for the sanctification of youth.   She kept a lively interest in the poor as well as in the spiritual health of those who sought out her counsel.

“Do not offend Jesus anymore!’:
As a “testimony” to the mission to which God had called her, Alexandrina desired the following words written on her tombstone:   “Sinners, if the dust of my body can be of help to save you, come close, walk over it, kick it around until it disappears.   But never sin again, do not offend Jesus anymore!   Sinners, how much I want to tell you…. Do not risk losing Jesus for all eternity, for He is so good.   Enough with sin.   Love Jesus, love Him!”.   Below is her Tomb, the Church where it resides in Balaza and her room for 30 years.

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Alexandrina died on 13 October 1955.   Her last words:  “I am happy, because I am going to Heaven”. … Vatican.va

beatification bl alezandrina
In Ireland there is an Alexandrina Society that spreads knowledge of her life and teachings.  The aims of the Society are 1) To spread devotion to Alexandrina and make her known, 2) To pray for the conversion of sinners, 3) To pray for Priests and acknowledge any favours received, 4) To pray for members’ intentions. Amen.

Posted in MYSTICS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 October – ‘Serving the Lord’

One Minute Reflection – 6 October – Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 17:5–10 and the Memorial of St Mary Frances of the Five Wounds (1715-1791)

‘Prepare supper for me’ ...Luke 17:8

REFLECTION – “To believe is not simply to sit back and wait until the Lord comes and serves us with His grace.   Faith receives it’s incomprehensible efficacy (tossing a tree into the ocean), in the course of serving the Lord, who, after all, has become the servant of us all and cannot stand to see anyone lazily let himself be served by Him (sola fides). Instead, He takes it as self-evident, that His followers serve alongside Him, which really means they serve Him, for “where I am, there will my servant also be” (Jn 12:26).
Moreover, this serving does not take place in haughty pride over how useful to the Lord my co-service may be (as if He could not do anything without me).   Just the opposite, in modesty, the servant knows the words of Jesus – “Without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
Since He has already done everything for us, the correct estimation of ourselves, is the one commanded by the Lord Himself and expressed in the Confession – “We are useless servants, we have only done our duty.”Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)luke 17 8 - to believe is not simply to sit back and wait - hans urs von balthasar 6 oct 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, whose love surpasses all that we ask or deserve, guide us to perfect obedience to conform ourselves to Your holy will, that in the manner of St Mary Frances, our only wish may be to serve and find You.   May we always serve in modesty and humility and know that only in Your Son, are we complete.   May the prayers of St Mary Frances of the Five Wounds be a source of strength on our journey home.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.st mary frances of the five wounds pray for us 6 oct 2019.jpg